Monday, October 26, 2015

October meeting of the SOCCCD board of trustees: tedium and nit-pickery—Plus cool radio interference (and, maybe, a future Big Broadcast)!

     See HERE for Natalie's Board Meeting Highlights.
     It's 6:25, and it looks like everyone's waiting for 6:30 and the start of the open session. Earlier today, at 4:00, the board met to review the Chancellor's performance. Wonder how that went? Pretty well, judging by Gary's demeanor. He seems untroubled.
     I see at least six trustees. Where's Marcia?
     They'll start soon, I'm sure.
     Right now, Pendergast, Poertner and Whitt are huddling about something, I know not what. I've spotted Marcia. Immediately to my right, trustee Jemal is speaking with students; they all seem pretty chummy, which is good, I guess. Wright is jawing with Brenda way to the left. Now Marcia's finding her way to her seat.
     6:29 - the room seems pretty full: excitement, I guess, about the new faculty contract, to be approved tonight. (Item 6.16)

     Here we go:
     6:30 - Reading of actions in closed session: no actions taken in closed session.
     Invocation: Milchiker.  Ends with, "...we pray for peace, Amen."
     The pledge is recited. Good grief.

     Next: some recognitions
     IVC's Prez Roquemore comes up. Dean Doughty (Dean Of Instruction, Economic And Workforce Development) comes up next: recognition for achievement re C-STEM RoboPlay Competition. IVC doesn't have a team, yet they "placed." (2nd, statewide, robotics) Blah, blah, blah. RoboPlay video challenge. 1st in state for best overall video. Mary Kim is director. Etc. Professor Chandos, evidently, was involved. (Good Lord.) Blah blah. Congrats. Nine students participated. Five here today. Photo op.
     Next: Saddleback's Tod Burnett: medallion awards at National Council on Marketing and Public relations. Evidently, SC has a "marketing team." Radio ad, etc.
     ALSO: Cal Comm Colleges Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Bill Kelly, et al. Big applause. The board members stand! Good freakin' grief. They don't stand for anything academic. They stand for football.

     Public comments:
     Charles Myers: (Communication Arts Instructor.) We are strongly in agreement with proposed collaboration with Cal State campus (I forgot which). Thanks for your support!

     Board Reports:
     Terri Whitt: attended several events. Something was "amazing," she said. Attended 30th Anniversary ceremony at IVC. "You've gone a long way," she says (of IVC), patronizingly.
     Marcia Milchiker: attended many events, including SC homecoming. (God, they love that sports shit.) 6 of the 7 trustees "were there." Gosh, what a "hands-on board"! Visited the Casa Del Sol, blah blah blah, Solar Decathlon. Our house (done by IVC with UCI, Chapman) was best. House that conserves energy, etc. Makes a difference in "keeping our environment sound."
     James Wright: also attended several events. There was a national moment of silence re the shooting at Oregon conducted at both campuses. (Natch, he didn't notice the special installation at IVC.) Mentions Solar Decathlon. We took 9th place. Blah blah blah. OC School Board Association dinner/event was "very well received." Attended conference in San Diego of national trustees. "We had a White House official" speak to us. Discussed the notion of free tuition in some states. Attended the homecoming at SC, the 30 year celebration at IVC.
     Tim Jemal: mentioned the shooting in Oregon. An attack against one community college is an attack on "all of us." Homecoming, etc. Solar Decathlon was fantastic. Impressed with use of grey water in Orange house. Missed the 30th Anniversary at IVC. I wasn't there when Marilyn Monroe sang "Happy Birthday" to the President. (Har har. In fact, everyone in the room warbled "Happy Birthday" to TJ. I rolled my eyes and imagined being at a real college.)
     TJ Prendergast: was very impressed by the Solar Decathlon houses. "Everybody had such great ideas."  These students weren't even majoring in engineering. OC School Board Association dinner was good, etc. Trustee conference in San Diego was good; valuable information. Homecoming, IVC's 30th, well put together.
     Barbara Jay: I left for a cruise on the Panama Canal right after the last meeting (she said), so I've missed much of this. Attended IVC's 30th. "Glenn Roquemore, you did a great job on that." (No, you didn't.) I can't believe it's been 30 years. Impressed with support from City of Irvine. Attended "partnership breakfast" put on by SC. It was "great." Very informative for K-12 leaders. Mentioned newspaper article about Saddleback College, nearing 50 years. (She's running way over time. A timer appears on the screen.)
     Dave Lang: I'll be brief since others covered my ground. Homecoming game--Saddleback was victorious. Congrats. Made it to Solar Decathlon. That was "a lot of fun. Interesting." Surprising, the talent. Couldn't make the 30th Anniversary event. It's been a busy time.
     Student trustee: everything he attended was "well done," including the meat at the BBQ.

     Chancellor (Poertner's) report: item on agenda: Accreditation. Everybody's goal for this year and next: working on accreditation. We're expecting the whole thing to be "quite positive." Also tonight: proposal for joint partnership, SC radio and Cal State Northridge radio station (both stations are 88.5). There's a problem with interference between the two stations. We'll turn the problem into something positive. This will be of "great interest to you."
     President Roquemore (IVC): Tragic events at the Oregon CC, our hearts go out, etc. Both colleges have "excellent emergency environments." (No they don't.) We've been working on this since "Virginia Tech." We've been meeting to step things up. Mentions something about "blue lights" around campus and "innovative door locks." (The cops have the keys.) We've been stepping up training, trying to involve faculty, students. The situation is being taken "very seriously." Solar Decathlon: 1st time that an American CC was involved in this kind of event. Tod and I worked together closely, blah blah. "Absolutely incredible." Held our "Golf Classic." We raised money. Be sure to see "Hairspray." It's a "blockbuster," people are enjoying it. Blah blah blah blah blah.
     President Burnett (SC): Blah, blah. Homecoming was successful. "Overwhelming victory." (He swells, yet further, with pride.) This Saturday, we beat OCC, the bastards. 14th time. Blah blah blah. Solar Decathlon: we're very proud of what our students and faculty did. Glenn championed this. Golly, thanks. Nov 10: at Disneyland Hotel: our own bio instructor Karah Street. Street will be honored, among others. Family night is coming up. Mark your calendar: OC (something) showcase. Thoughts and prayers to SC student who was killed in a hit-and-run accident recently.
     IVC student government: nice report. (I love how students refer to trustees as 'you guys.' Who can explain it?) Mentions "Million Student March" demanding free tuition. This kid seems to support that. He seems to assume the trustees are with 'im. Not so sure.

     No board requests for reports.
     We will advance 6.16: employee master agreement
     Rec: board should approve contract. 
     We take a break.
     There's an outbreak of applause re contract. It's an absurd moment. I yawn. Half the audience trails out, into the night. They got what they wanted.

Item 4.1 - Update on accreditation
     [Break ends:] 7:14: Craig Justice comes up to give report
     Blah, blah, blah. Explains the basics of accreditation, how the ACCJC gives us standards, how we write a report in relation to standards. [He doesn't mention that the Accreds are fascists and morons.] Explains 4 basic standards. A new one: "integrity." Blah blah blah. There've been "overall changes" to simplify the format. It's now a 7-year cycle (not 6). An effort to be "more pro-active." Turns it over to Bob C:
     New Accred standards: standard 4 especially. This one has popped up (as a problem) in the past. New standards perhaps have brought clarification to the process, and that's good. I just returned from Greece: cradle of all things academic (I guess). He tells a Cosgrovian joke. I cringe.
     Decision-making roles, processes are important. Several trustees will be asked to be interviewed--so that we have documentation that we are complying with ACCJC standards. Etc. (Trustees look concerned.) A closer look at Standard IV: blah blah blah. When we talk about the Brown Act and the Ed Code, says Bob, this means nothing to ACCJC, which is not a California agency. Mentions a standard: once the board makes a decision, every board member must support it, etc. Mentions "delineations of district and college functions." Blah blah blah.
     Next: Kathy S: Would like to point out: every college approaches its self-evaluation differently. IVC and SC are similar but not identical in this regard. Mentions Accred workgroups, following standards. We have a broad, inclusive group, SPAC (Strategic Planning and Accred Council). Also AOWG: Accred Oversight Work Group. 16 Workgroups, 72 members. 96 Tears. These numbers will change over time. Reps from all groups on campus. On Sharepoint, we have all the documentation, work. Events: during Flex Week, mini-retreats, etc.
     Juan Avalos (VP for SS): blah, blah, blah. And I mean that. Standard 2 is the megastandard of Accred, he said, I think. More blah blah blah. This guy speaks like a tiny, chintzy needle gun. Boink boink boink. Ting.
     Kathy S: Now, the Accred timeline. "Not greatly detailed." More blah.
     Bob C: we're pretty much parallel with IVC. (It's a theme. Parallelism and collaborationism.)
     Kathy S: a huge amount of collaboration in reports. Served us well, this collaboratin'. We're working together well and will continue to do so. Lots of sharing. Lots of hugs. It's best for all, the more we work together, hug. Yadda yadda.
     Wright: when will reports be handed in to ACCJC? Avalos: must arrive at ACCJC in Feb or March for their meeting.
     Bob C, quoting those dang Greeks again: "all life is uncertain." Hope we'll be less uncertain about this process than in past.

     Consent Calendar. 5.7, 5.8. 5.12, etc.They vote on balance. Unanimous.

     5.1 - Lang had some nit-picky point about the minutes, a "unanimous" vote that was not. Fix the record, goddamit.
     5.7 - Wright: two courses with the same title. The need for a correction is noted. Also: no labs for certain courses. How can that be? Schmeidler answers. One course has labs included already. (Bio 94, I think.) Wright is being his occasionally nit-picky and stubborn self. It became a war of Chem vs. Bio. Good grief. Prendergast joins: shouldn't it be clear from the title that a course includes a lab? (I think this is called "micromanagement." Yep, I'm sure of it.) KS tries to explain that we do things that way in part owing to articulation concerns. That's what some of the other systems want. Wright is a dog with a bone. He is unmoved; he as that look. He won't let it go; this is no way to run Bio classes (he implies, with eyebrows and the slight tilt of his old head). But he eventually relents. They vote. Unanimous yes.
     5.8 - Wright: more nit-pickery. They vote. Unanimous yes.
     5.11 - Lang: wants to mention, Audit committee met earlier this afternoon. Also Foundation officers were present. We agreed in principle with district's recommendation on this item. Didn't like some of the wording. With that change, moved approval. Fitz: we'll make that change. Vote: unanimous yes.
     5.12 - Pulled on behalf of Chancellor. Fitz: authorized signature list, blah blah blah. Too tedious to listen to. I'm feeling faint. Unanimous yes.
    5.14 - Transfer of Budget Appropriations. Wants clarification. Fitz answers. None of this is out of reserve. Blah blah. (This may be interesting, but I sure don't know about it.) Vote: unanimous yes.

General Action items:

     Item 6.1: letter of intent to establish collaborative operating agreements for radio stations, blah blah blah.
     What is proposed is syncing of signals between two radio stations with same number. Proposed partnership. Speaker notes main players, people in the room, etc. Familiar faces, I guess.
     Terry Somebody (Terry Wedel, now-retired Director of Broadcast Services for KSBR Radio) now speaks. He explains: in old days, cities surrounded by rural areas, broadcasted outward to rural oblivion. KSBR/KCSN--our station and Northridge's. He shows "contours" for KSBR and KCSN. There's much overlap. KCSN contours are bigger (wider), more powerful signal. There's an area where the signal of our station just won't get picked up. 40% of the population intended to receive signal can't listen to KSBR. There's a lot of "radio no-man's land." It's a mess. Peculiarities. First twenty-one years, we were adversarial (the two stations, institutions), and that didn't work. About 15 years ago, we tried to finesse things. Any way to fix this (interference) snafu? Expert said: "you're screwed." But expert added: you can combine signals, might be great. Northridge said: no way, Jose. But somebody new (and good) got hired up at Northridge and things changed. A long conversation commenced. Went forward with study about feasibility of combining station. (Showed slide, showing coverage after combining stations.) Looks good! Syncing the two signals, one giant station. We can get to 11 million people! Imagine! Right now, we get to half a million. Ultimately, a group met at CalState Northridge Prez's office. Realized big pluses.
Jim Rondeau
      So now we have a "letter of intent." An authorization to begin negotiations of issues that have to be worked out. Intent: to create a very equal partnership -- interference-free signal, etc. Sync signals. Adopt the best format to build audience. (We're in the #2 market in the nation; New York is #1.) Huge coverage: 11 and a half million people. Co-branded as a joint service, etc. A rare opportunity.
     Will cover all of OC and LA counties. Right now, we use general fund. We could be raising up to $5 million a year. If you approve this letter, we can begin negotiating. Blah blah blah.
     Fitz: asking tonight: approval. Move to next stage, negotiation. Will come back to board with agreement (operating agreement included). Joint powers authority created. Will involve legal counsel. Very specialized people necessary (legally).

     Jemal: say more about fundraising, etc.
     No, really.
     Stations of this size: are able to fundraise to larger audience. KUSC, for instance. Large amounts of money. They're flush, those bastards.
     Jemal: We're talking about a brand new business model for this operation. Sounds like our station's content will dramatically change.
     We have wide content now. We'll be making changes to meet the audience in any case. Always evolving. Nature of the beast, I guess. Fundraising "is a game of percentages." The numbers will be much larger, thus the funds raised will be larger. Student enthusiasm will grow if we do this. Right now, very little student involvement.
     Jemal: will this meet FCC approval?
     Fitz: yes. (She elaborates. I don't care.)
     Prendergast: transfer pathways between our students and Cal State N?
     Yes. The station will "be a big recruitment tool." Will attract professionals. (Jim broke in to say: really, each college will produce its own programs, independently. Still, really, two different stations.)
     Lang: yes, as you acknowledge, you won't be able to raise lots of funds immediately. So will there be big upfront costs?
     Terry (former SC radio guy): he seemed to say that its time to reconsider the kind of radio station we want to be. (My brain is cutting out; long day.)
     Other guy: Currently, our college is spending $341K a year. I think there will be a cost savings going forward.
     Faculty guy (Myers) steps up: perfect timing to do this, from a cost standpoint.
     Other guy: there's a lot of enthusiasm over build-out.
     Fitz: notes all the things that will be covered in negotiations. If you approve this tonight, we can always back out.
     Jim: lays it on pretty thick: other great opportunities here. Blah blah blah. It all sounds pretty exciting. As it is now, our station is a volunteer operation, so.... We're talking about something much better for students. Look at KUSC, KPCC, KCRW(I think), etc. Branding opportunity, marketing opportunity.
     The ability to inform both counties: the courses we offer. Very exciting.
     Whitt: you said we will target a larger audience. That's not "content." Etc. (God, she's earnest.)
     Jim: seemed to answer her issues well. We won't be diluting the content. There will be some different content. Change can be difficult. We'll be able to produce higher quality content. Change will occur in any case. Going from an market covering 372,000 to over 11 million. Meyers steps in again: the content will increase in quantity and quality, ten-fold. Greater depth.
    Whitt: her concern is with "faithful listeners." (WTF?)
    Milchiker: Terry shouldn't have been allowed to retire (laughter). Talks about student DJs, etc. Won't this new reality be daunting for our students? Maybe their heads will pop.
    We won't put on the air a first-timer (something like that). Marcia: I wish you well in the negotiations.
     Student trustee: wouldn't KCSN's programing dilute our own? (I never understand this kid.)
     Programing will be fully integrated. Blah blah blah.
     Prendergast: has the Cal State Northridge board already acted on this?
     Fitz: they don't need to. Blah.
     Call for vote:
     No, Jemal: if you pull this off, it will be a very significant achievement. Kudos for moving forward with this.
     Vote: unanimous yes.

     6.2 - approved unanimously
     6.3 - approved unanimously
     6.4 - unanimous yes vote
     6.5 - Grant re Asian American/Native American/ Pacific Islanders. Lang: what percentage of students are in this category? Roquemore: he mentioned a surprisingly high figure--twenty-something percent. Jemal: congrats. Would like to learn more about activities of the grant. Vote: unanimous yes
     6.6 - Unanimous yes.
     6.7 - Liberal Arts Building Project, IVC. Unanimous yes.
     6.8 - Life Science Building Project, IVC. Unanimous yes.
     6.9 - Board policies, etc. Lang carps about paragraph D (5404). Wants some language change. Lang gives recommendations. Fitz: that doesn't change the meaning, so looks OK. Blah blah blah. They vote: unanimous yes.
     6.10 - More board policies--for review and study. Unanimous yes
     6.11 - Paying absent trustee. No discussion, unanimous yes, as usual. Good grief. A tiny monument of corruption, still standing
     6.12 - Police Officers Association, district initial proposal. Opportunity for public comment.
     Public hearing now open. Public comments? None, natch. Hearing now closed.
     Further discussion? No. Of course.
     6.13 - Academic Personnel Actions. Unanimous yes
     6.14 - Classified Personnel Actions. Bugay mentions some small changes. Unanimous yes
     6.15 - Full-time faculty hiring lists. Bugay: modifications, exhibit B. Blah blah. IVC: two additional positions. Guidance and counseling: generalist. Veteran. Lang: listed in priority order? Yes, realistically, how many expect to fill? For Saddleback: 4-8. For IVC: 10-14. Vote: unanimous yes.


     7.1 - blah
     7.2 - blah
     7.3 - blah

Next up: reports from admin and governance groups.

--Hence, I'm outa here. (8:56)

SEE ALSO: SOCCCD's "$200K Club" (according to Transparent California, 2014)


Anonymous said...

Thanks as always for this. Good to hear about the contract. I wish IVC had a radio station.

Anonymous said...

I wish IVC had a working radio.....

Anonymous said...

Who listens to radio anymore??

Thanks for the write-up. We appreciate the valuable service you provide of keeping us plugged in to Board happenings.

Anonymous said...

No available am or fm frequencies

Anonymous said...

Professor Chan Loke, not Professor Chandos, was involved in producing the video.

Anonymous said...

7:55 - I was reporting what was said. That what was said is false doesn't surprise me.

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